Thousands of Calgarians rally to support Women's March on Washington
'With the inauguration of Trump yesterday, it was important to be the antidote to that hatred'
More than 5,000 people packed the front of Calgary's City Hall Saturday to march in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington.
Calgary's event was one of 30 "sister marches" held across Canada and one of more than 600 planned worldwide for the day after U.S. President Donald Trump's inauguration.
Priya Kaila was one of the many who showed up downtown Saturday. She said she was marching in an effort to show the world these are issues matter.
"A lot of people like to act like feminism isn't a real thing and it's not an actual issue that we have to talk about, but there are hundreds of people here so obviously this is something we've got to talk about," Kaila said.
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Organizer Adora Nwofor implored the crowd of men, women and children to support women in fields from everything from politics to stand-up comedy.
"Women and people who support women have said, 'that's enough, we are tired of seeing the people that we love and care about not be respected, not be treated well, not be heard, not be represented,'" she said.
The crowd filled the steps at City Hall and packed the street, pouring into Olympic Plaza. The event even drew Alberta-born singers Jann Arden and k.d. lang, with lang tweeting prior to the event she wouldn't be performing, but "I imagine I will be yelling."
Though the march began as a response to Trump's election win, the march's message broadened to include social justice issues relating to race, religion, immigration and LGBT rights.
"I think with the inauguration of Trump yesterday, it was important to be the antidote to that hatred," said Ken Trudeau, who attended the event with his two young children in tow.
The hatred many attendees said they were taking a stand against goes beyond comments made across the border.
Carolyn Greene said it's a message for Canadian politicians too.
"This march represents a whole host of issues, obviously women's rights is important but there are a lot of other things that I think are under threat — facts matter, the attack on science and scientific evidence, these sorts of things we have faced in our own country," she said.
"With the upcoming Conservative leadership race, I think these are issues that all Canadians need to be thinking about."
Calgary wasn't the only Alberta city to hold a women's rally Saturday. An event in Edmonton drew around 3,500 people and in Lethbridge, more than 300 gathered to participate in the march.
With files from Kate Adach